"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snip Snip

I quietly closed the door behind me.  I heard a soft whimper from inside as the floor creaked under my feet.  I stood still waiting...After a few moments of silence I retreated to my room.  The only thing I could hear now was the sound of my heart breaking...

August 5th came too quickly.  Noah was two and no longer a baby.  He was growing literally right before my eyes.  For real, he grew over an inch in a month.  His personality had always packed a good punch but over the next few months there were many knockouts and new rounds where Noah upped his game.  He was smart and adapted quickly to new situations.  He had an arsenal of new moves and he kept his strength well hidden until he needed it.  He became a parrot where he could repeat anything and his vocabulary increased daily.  He didn't take no for an answer but had no problem saying no to me or anyone else.  His temper was extraordinary and equally matched with his sweetness.  His independent desire to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted challenged me every day.  BUT, he was still my baby.  I loved smothering him with hugs and kisses.  I relished every chance I got to rock him.  I adored when he came running to me with his arms outstretched for me to pick him up.

A few weeks ago, Noah went through another rite of passage.  He said goodbye to his crib and hello to his big boy bed.  He was so excited and loved his new bed.  He had no problems sleeping in it and was so proud of himself when he got up by himself.  That proud look on his face was becoming a daily occurrence as he constantly accomplished new things.  It was undeniable that Noah was growing up.  And that meant it was time....It was time to say goodbye to the pacifier.  Unlike Izzie, Noah never had a weird name for his pacifier.  He called it passy.  Noah loved his pacifier along with his blankets.  If he was having a bad day, he would walk out of a room and come back in with passy and blanket in hand.  His passy gave him comfort and rest.  I already went through the withdrawal with Izzie so I knew what to expect, but every kid is different.  Izzie was older when we took her 'tata' away.  Her situation was different.  I was nearing my third trimester with Noah and things were tough for Izzie.  I was so ill and she needed that extra security from her 'tata'.  When Noah was born and took to his passy right away, I didn't even try to take Izzie's pacifier away.  It was too much for her to deal with.  When it came time to give it up though she did fine.  For awhile she only had it at night and then one day it 'broke', and that was the end of that.

I was hoping that things would go just as smoothly with Noah even though I had this sinking feeling that he was going to adamantly refuse to give it up.  I started by taking it away during the day.  He only got it when he went to sleep.  This didn't work for him.  He thought he needed it all day.  We had a throw down in the living room.  He may have pinned me down, but I didn't surrender.  Noah moved on to his next approach.  He pretended to be a baby.  He came up to me and said, "Momma, I'm a baby...Passy?"  Nice try Noah.  He cozied up to me and gave me his best, "Waa, Waa, Waa..."  Right, that's not going to work either.  "Goo, Goo, Gah, Gah..."  Really, Noah?

That evening we skyped with my parents and brother.  My dad pointed out that the fact Noah was smart enough to pretend to be a baby in an attempt to get his pacifier was proof enough that he was ready to give up his passy.  Exactly. Still it was big deal for Noah.  His pacifier represented comfort and security.  To Noah, his pacifier was just as attached to him as one of his limbs.  So of course, it was going to be painful, albeit short lived.  Noah experienced loss.  I sympathized with him and was extra patient.  I gave him distraction after distraction after distraction to take his mind off his missing appendage.  He got through it.  He was doing great.  Then came bedtime.  

"Passy!  Passy!  Passy!"  He lamented over and over again his absolute need for his passy.  It was time.  I left them in the nursery and went to the kitchen.  I got out a pair of scissors and snipped the end off his pacifier.  I walked back into the nursery to see Izzie and Noah rocking away and Noah crying (more of a fake cry) for his passy.  I sat back down in the rocking chair.  Izzie and Noah perched themselves on my lap.  "Here you go Noah."  The passy had barely made it past his mouth before it was abruptly pulled out and thrust into my face.  "Yuck!"  I think he thought there was piece of hair on it or something.  Izzie looked at it and I pretended to wipe something off it.  I gave it back to him.  He wouldn't even put it back in.  The next fifteen minutes were intense.  Noah's face was tangled with concern and confusion.  He looked back and forth from his passy to me and back again.  I said, "Noah, it's broke."  Izzie seemed to understand.  She gave Noah a supportive look and said, "Mine broke too.  And now I don't need it anymore."  Noah's face started to crumble. 

With a weary voice he sighed, "Broke...Broke...Broke..."  He would hand me his passy to fix it and I would tell him it was broken.  Izzie gently took his hand and kissed it.  Have I mentioned what a compassionate daughter I have?  She rubbed his hand and said "It's okay Noah."  Noah quietly echoed, "Broke...Broke...Broke..." over and over again.  Finally, it was time to say goodnight.  I tucked Izzie in first and walked over to my very sad Noah.  He crawled into bed and laid on his tummy.  He still had his passy.  He looked and me and whispered, "Broke".  I told him it was broke but he could hold onto it if he wanted to.  He handed it to me.  I tucked him in and sat back down in the rocking chair to sing for awhile.  Both kids were quiet as I rocked and sang 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'.  I tip-toed to the door when I heard a hushed, "Momma?"  I walked over and kneeled down next to Noah.  "Yes, Noah?"  He whimpered, "Broke".  Jesus, help me.  Every time Noah said 'broke', a small piece of my heart broke.  I kissed his cheek and whispered, "you're going to be okay Noah.  Go to sleep now."  

"Okay, Momma." 

My. Heart. Was. Breaking...


Noah woke up happy this morning followed by his usual cantankerousness demeanor.  Tonight, his second night without his beloved, he only mentioned 'broke' once before drifting off to dreamland. 



  1. oh. my. lord. my heart just burst in a million pieces. i need to cry. i really hope i burst into tears of happiness and joy when i see you and my niece and nephew in 26 days to make up for the past 16 months of separation and no tears. i love you.

  2. I love you, and I'm quite certain that I am going to cry. Then Izzie will probably look at us and ask us what's wrong?